NSD2 dimethylation at H3K36 promotes lung adenocarcinoma pathogenesis.

The etiological role of NSD2 enzymatic activity in solid tumors is unclear. Here we show that NSD2, via H3K36me2 catalysis, cooperates with oncogenic KRAS signaling to drive lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) pathogenesis. In vivo expression of NSD2, a hyperactive variant detected in individuals with LUAD, rapidly accelerates malignant tumor progression while decreasing survival in KRAS-driven LUAD mouse models. Pathologic H3K36me2 generation by NSD2 amplifies transcriptional output of KRAS and several complementary oncogenic gene expression programs. We establish a versatile in vivo CRISPRi-based system to test gene functions in LUAD and find that NSD2 loss strongly attenuates tumor progression. NSD2 knockdown also blocks neoplastic growth of PDXs (patient-dervived xenografts) from primary LUAD. Finally, a treatment regimen combining NSD2 depletion with MEK1/2 inhibition causes nearly complete regression of LUAD tumors. Our work identifies NSD2 as a bona fide LUAD therapeutic target and suggests a pivotal epigenetic role of the NSD2-H3K36me2 axis in sustaining oncogenic signaling.

Sengupta, D., Zeng, L., Li, Y., Hausmann, S., Ghosh, D., Yuan, G., … Gozani, O. (2021). NSD2 dimethylation at H3K36 promotes lung adenocarcinoma pathogenesis. Molecular Cell, 81(21), 4481–4492.e9. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2021.08.034

We thank members of the Gozani and Mazur labs for critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported in part by grants from the NIH (R35 GM139569 to O.G., R01 CA236118 to O.G. and P.K.M., K99 CA255936 to S.M., and R01HG007538, R01CA193466, and R01CA228140 to W.L.); intramural funds from KAUST (to W.F., L.J., and M.J.); and AACR, NETRF, a DOD PRCRP career development award (CA181486), a career enhancement grant from The University of Texas NIH SPORE in Lung Cancer (P50CA070907), and the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Scientist and CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research (RR160078) (to P.K.M.). D.S. was supported by a grant from the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute. This work was also supported in part by the Stanford Cancer Institute, a NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Molecular cell


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